Monday, May 28, 2012

"Les classes populaires ont changé"

Serge Guérin and Christophe Guilluy argue that social differentiation in France has assumed a new "spatial" configuration, with a sharp division between "cosmopolitan" major cities and smaller towns, exurban areas, rural areas, etc. They believe that this requires a specific response from the state in the form of a reconfiguration of social services. That may be, but I think the larger issue is to try to figure out why the costs of globalization and Europeanization are so unevenly distributed and then to remedy this economic "mal-santé." If that is done, addressing the social "mal-santé" they describe would be both easier and less costly.


FrédéricLN said...

The change in configuration is real; it's not mainly social, it's economical. Decision centers were in the factories or nearby: they are now located in metropolitan centers. Low-added-value tasks are outsourced to "service factories" in smaller low-cost towns.

There were secondary decision centers everywhere in a society when information flows were slow. I the internet and ERP era, there aren't any more. Every worker in every factory or service is monitored by a Big Brother reporting to Paris, London or Singapore.

People down there in smaller towns know that they count for almost nothing on the globalized stage. Their vote for FN for example, just says that: "we may be the loosers, we are not fooled".

FrédéricLN said...

(P.-S. = in short, the comment above means I fully agree with your post and appreciation, Art!).

Louis said...

Ironically, this is exactly what European structural funds and programs were designed to do: subsidize activity in regions away from the decision centers where population, production and knowledge have been flowing since the 60s. But in that as in many other things, the system has bogged down through a combination of apathy on part of possible applicants, corruption, the member-states' unwillingness to support the system, and the EU's peculiar capacity to botcher good ideas.

levitra said...

I agree that the big deal in here plays corruption and unwillingness to support the system. This has a negative impact. However regions need support and cannot do without it. The thing is to find a ballance.